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The Damp

John Donne 1572 (London) – 1631 (London)



When I am dead, and doctors know not why,
And my friends' curiosity
Will have me cut up to survey each part,—
When they shall find your picture in my heart,
You think a sudden damp of love
Will through all their senses move,
And work on them as me, and so prefer
Your murder to the name of massacre.

Poor victories! But if you dare be brave,
And pleasure in your conquest have,
First kill th' enormous giant, your Disdain,
And let th' enchantress Honour next be slain,
And like a Goth and Vandal rise,
Deface records and histories
Of your own arts and triumphs over men,
And, without such advantage, kill me then.

For I could muster up as well as you
My giants, and my witches too,
Which are vast Constancy and Secretness;
But these I neither look for nor profess.
Kill me as woman, let me die
As a mere man; do you but try
Your passive valour, and you shall find then,
Naked you have odds enough of any man.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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John Donne

John Donne was an English poet, satirist, lawyer and a cleric in the Church of England. more…

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